Sunday, May 6, 2012

Adopt a Refugee Student, send her to school, not to 'camp'

There are over 250 Malian students living as refugees in Nouakchott, Mauritania today. They range in age from 12 to 20 years old, grades 6 through university. In Mali these children had been good students, their parents putting a high priority on education. Each student now lives with their family or a ‘foster’ family, two and sometimes three families under one roof. They are working hard to avoid moving into the refugee camps where their children will be one among thousands. In order to enroll in school in Mauritania, they must purchase books and school supplies; to attend they must walk or find transportation every school day; to succeed in a new school they need ‘catch-up” tutoring.
To adopt a student and their family, it only takes about $600 over 6 months; this keeps their children in school and gives them the opportunity to find housing, and a job to get them back on their feet in a new city.
If the family cannot find work, pay for food and housing, then they will end up moving into the large refugee camp near the Malian - Mauritania border. There are over 62,000 people (13,700 families) in this camp as of the end of April! the families that made it to Nouakchott are desparate to keep their children out of the camps, where they will be one of thousands.

We have kicked off a project to assist these students and families.
Project and Process
The project will be managed in the field by NomadHope and Adjmor’s professional project managers. With each $600 raised we will initiate the sponsorship of another family and student. The sponsored family and student will sign a contract agreeing to use the funds to support continuous school enrollment and attendance.
The funds will be distributed to each family monthly, provided the following criteria have been met each month:
  • A letter from the student, describing how the funds have helped their family and or how school is impacting their life.
  • Confirmation from the school of enrollment, attendance, and performance in good standing.
  • Photographs sent to us, showing the student and family in their home, at school, or doing daily activities.
Project Costs
  • Per Family - $600
  • 10 Families - $6000
  • 50 Families - $30,000
  • 125 families - $75,000
Expected Results
This project will help each student stay in school and out of the refugee camp. The students should be enrolled and complete the current school year and begin the 2012-13 school year in October 2012. The family should have an income or plan for income source and arrangements to remain in Nouakchott until it is safe to return to Mali.
Project Partners
We are pleased to have the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach, the expertise of, and and local oversight of Adjmor, Mali. 

NomadHope, the Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach, and Rotary International have been working in northern Mali, Africa, assisting rural schools with solar, water, and sanitation since 2009. During this uncertain time of internal conflict in Mali, we must temporarily suspend our long term projects there and now support these same students, teachers, and families as they become refugees 1450 km away in Mauritania, waiting for peace so they can go home.

There are approximately 250 refugee families with school age children in the capital of Mauritania that fled Mali when the 2012 rebellion and military coup began.
These families left for safety in a hurry with only the clothes on their back and what they could carry.
In Mali these families prioritized school so their children could have a better life. In Nouakchott, Mauritania, they have been living with friends and distant relatives, who have little to share.
The Mali families must find shelter, food, and an income to remain in the Nouakchott where their children can stay in school, or they are destined to move to a refugee camp with over 9500 other families. Outside the refugee camps, there is no international aid offered.
These families desperately want their children to stay in school, to stop the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and rebellion. They must have shelter, food for the entire family, while the parents look for jobs to remain in the city where their children can stay in school.
With a little assistance, and a‘foster’ family in Mauritania, these families can stay out of the refugee camp and students can stay in school, until they can return home.

Read more ...
  • UNHCR refugee camp reports.
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